Vehicle Fire

Police, Fire and EMS Respond to Vehicle Fire

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        On Monday, May 6th 2019 at 2:45 PM, the Cedar Grove Police Department received a report of a car fire inside a garage of the Cedar Grove Garden Apartments. Upon arrival officers used their extinguishers to slow the fires growth while evacuating the building. Cedar Grove Fire Department arrived shortly and extinguished the fire. One officer was transported to an area hospital by the Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad for smoke inhalation. The officer was treated and released. The cause of the fire is under investigation, however it does appear to be accidental in nature. “Do to the efforts of all the first responders the fire was contained to the car and garage area with no major injuries”   Chief Cirasa

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Click it or Ticket

Seat Belt Enforcement and Education Campaign to be Conducted Locally as Part of Nationwide
Click It or Ticket Mobilization May 20 – June 2, 2019

 
CEDAR GROVE — Law enforcement officers from the Cedar Grove Police Department will join with police from around the country in cracking down on unbuckled motorists and passengers as part of the national “Click it or Ticket” campaign.
 
Beginning May 20 and running through June 2, the annual “Click It or Ticket” national mobilization utilizes high visibility seat belt checkpoints and saturation patrols, in combination with local and national publicity efforts, to reiterate the life-saving value of seat belts. 
 
“Using a seat belt is the simplest way for motor vehicle occupants to protect themselves on the road,” said Eric Heitmann, Director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.   "Crash statistics show that between 2013 and 2017, seat belt use saved nearly 69,000 lives nationally.” 
 
In New Jersey, a key focus of this year’s Click It or Ticket campaign is to promote seat belt usage by adults in all seating positions in the vehicle, both front AND rear seats. The front seat belt usage rate in New Jersey currently stands at 94.47%. However, adults riding in rear seats are buckling up at a significantly lower rate, only 48% according to a recent survey.
 
 “For whatever reason there seems to be a disconnect with people feeling they don’t need to buckle up when riding as passengers in rear seats, and this is a concern,” Heitmann said. “By promoting back seat usage of seat belts during our Click It or Ticket campaign, we’re encouraging passenger habits that will save lives.”
 
During the 2018 “Click it or Ticket” campaign, 357 New Jersey police agencies participated in the two-week initiative.  As a result of the effort, law enforcement officers issued 19,659 seat belt citations, 4,437 speeding summonses and made 661 impaired driving arrests. 

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2019 Prescription Take Back

""On April 27th the Cedar Grove Police Department participated in the DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. More than fifty residents turned in unused and expired prescription medications. Ptl. John Smigelsky oversaw the collection process. The program enabled the public to get rid of unused, unwanted and expired medications properly. Prescription drug abuse is rapidly becoming one of our nation’s greatest emerging drug problems and it is widely recognized that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from home medicine cabinets. In addition to this growing drug problem, unused and expired prescription medications also represent a severe environmental hazard. Most individuals are not aware of methods to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away; both potential safety and health hazards. The program continues to be a success. Pictured is Ptl. Ray Cassella with the 49 pounds of medications collected ready to be turned in

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Police seize handgun, drugs and packaging materials

Police Seize Handgun, Drugs and Packaging Material
 
On Saturday, April 20th 2019 at 1:41 PM, Officer Ray Cassella of the Cedar Grove Police Department seized a loaded handgun, marijuana, THC vaping cartridges, a digital scale, and a large amount of cash. The incident began with a routine traffic stop. While speaking with the vehicles female operator Officer Cassella detected the odor of raw marijuana emanating from both the occupants and the subject vehicle. Further investigation revealed approximately 24 grams of marijuana packaged for distribution, numerous boxes of flavored THC oil cartridges, a scale and cash inside the vehicle. Officer Cassella continued his search locating a loaded Hi-Point 380 automatic handgun in the glove box. The male passenger was arrested without incident. The vehicle was found to be unregistered, uninsured and subsequently impounded. The Essex County Prosecutors Office authorized numerous charges, including certain persons not to have weapons, possession of a handgun without a permit, possession of a weapon while committing a narcotics crime, and possession with the intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance. The male defendant was processed then transported to Essex County Jail to await a bail hearing. The female operator was charged with several motor vehicle charges.

 Arrested was:
       21 Year old Omar Manzano of Garfield NJ
 
All persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty.       
                       
The Cedar Grove Police Department requests that the public report all suspicious activity observed, as it occurs.  The police department telephone number is 973-239-4100 and in case of emergency 9-1-1
 
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Special Needs Registration

""""     Special Needs Registration for Autism Awareness Month    ""

 
For people with autism, learning to interact with first responders is critical. On the other hand, it is just as essential for first responders to understand autism and be prepared to respond effectively and safely to situations that arise involving individuals on the spectrum.
 
As this month is Autism Awareness month, Chief Cirasa along with the Cedar Grove Police Department, would like to remind residents of the Address Alert system the police department has in place.  This alert supports police with any calls for service to addresses with those who have special needs and will aid in our ability to assist the residents better. Any information our first responders have regarding how to communicate or make contact with an individual who is on the spectrum, will help us respond effectively and safely for all those involved.  If you have a friend or loved one who has Autism or any other special need, please visit cedargrovepd.org where you will find a special needs registry form. Completed forms may be dropped off at the police desk at any time.  

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National Prescription Take Back 2019

The Cedar Grove Police Department will be participating in the bi-annual Operation Take Back Program sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency. This program enables the public to get rid of unused, unwanted and expired medications properly.

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Prescription drug abuse is rapidly becoming one of our nation’s greatest emerging drug problems and it is widely recognized that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from home medicine cabinets. In addition to this growing drug problem, unused and expired prescription medications also represent a severe environmental hazard. Most individuals are not aware of methods to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away; both potential safety and health hazards.This service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

Any questions regarding the collection please contact Officer John Smigelsky – jsmigelsky@cedargrovepd.org.

Date: Saturday, April 27, 2019
Hours:  10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location:  Cedar Grove Police Department – 525 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove
For more information about the Operation Take Back program visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov

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South End School Read Across America

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On Friday, March 1st, as part of Read Across America a nationwide reading awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading, South End School invited Cedar Grove Police Officer Anthony Cardona to read to the 2nd graders during Miss Hios' class. The kids really enjoyed the read and the question and answer period after! “I would like to thank Ms. DeNunzio for the invite, it’s a fantastic program. I believe Officer Cardona may have enjoyed it more than the kids”.  Chief Cirasa

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Press Release-Crime Spree Suspect Charged

""On Thursday, March 7, 2019, Detective Carolyn Lynch charged a 32 year old adult male, Andres Quintero-Medoza, out of East Elmhurst NY, with burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary and theft. The charges are the result of a month long multi-state, multi-jurisdictional investigation. The investigation began on February 4th 2019 when the suspect committed a midday motor vehicle burglary and theft in the parking lot of a local business 501 Little Falls Road in Cedar Grove. Proceeds of the theft were $2,400.00 in cash taken from the vehicle. Responding officers discovered that a suspect vehicle, a silver Jeep Cherokee, was captured on video leaving the scene. Detective Lynch was assigned to the case. She discovered that the victim had actually been followed from the bank to the parking lot. She was able to locate additional surveillance video from the bank and surrounding area leading to the eventual identification of the vehicle and suspect. Further investigation revealed that the Medoza had been involved in a spree of similar incidents. Where he and an accomplice followed unsuspecting victims from banks and high end stores waiting for the opportunity to burglarize their cars. Det. Lynch shared information and worked with Rochelle Park, Livingston, and Nassau County N.Y. Police Departments. On February 27th 2019 Nassau County arrested Medoza. Det Lynch with the assistance of the Essex County Prosecutors Office charged Medoza. A detainer was placed on him and an extradition application is pending. Additional charges from the various jurisdiction are reputably being filed.  All persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty. “I commend Det. Carolyn Lynch for her tenacious, and thorough investigatory prowess”

Chief J. Cirasa.
 
The Cedar Grove Police Department requests that the public report all suspicious activity observed, as it occurs.  The police department telephone number is 973-239-4100 and in case of emergency 9-1-1.  All reports are investigated and all assistance is appreciated. 

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Arrests after attempting to elude police / Possession of stolen a vehicle

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On Wednesday, February 27, 2019, police arrested 3 male subjects, 1 adult and 2 juveniles, on charges while in possession of a stolen motor vehicle and attempting to elude officers.  The incidents leading up to the arrests initiated at 3:55 p.m. after Cedar Grove Officer Raymond Casella attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop of the involved vehicle, a 2018 Chevy Silverado U-Haul Rental Truck, for a motor vehicle violation. The vehicle briefly stopped on Commerce Road then sped off as the officer approached on foot. The vehicle subsequently fled into Little Falls. Officer Cassella pursued, ending up entering into the Little Falls Shoprite Parking Lot. The suspect vehicle drove through a fence off the roadway into the Wooded Area behind the Shoprite toward Passaic Valley High School. When the truck became disabled and could go no further the occupants all exited the vehicle and fled on foot. During this period, it was determined the subject vehicle was stolen out of New York. Following an area search, conducted with the assistance of officers from Little Falls, West Paterson, Passaic County Sheriff’s Dept., NJSP and others, the three subjects were apprehended. They were apprehended inside the ShopRite Store by Passaic County K-9, Little Falls and Cedar Grove Officers without further incident. The matter continues to be investigated no further details are available at this time. All persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
 
The Cedar Grove Police Department requests that the public report all suspicious activity observed, as it occurs.  The police department telephone number is 973-239-4100 and in case of emergency 9-1-1.  All reports are investigated and all assistance is appreciated.

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Promotions

Cedar Grove Police Promotions 
 
On Monday, February 4th 2019 Township Manager Thomas Tucci, along with Mayor Joseph Cicala, Deputy Mayor Robbie Vargo, Council Members, Harry Kumburis, Kerry Peterson, and Peter Tanella, who was unable to attend, held the formal promotional ceremony for Lt. Edward Conlon and Sgt. Joseph Russomanno.

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Lieutenant Conlon has 24 Years of service to the township. He initially served as a police dispatcher. Earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware. He was appointed as police officer August 4th 1995. Graduated from Essex County Police Academy December 11th 1995 Promoted to Sergeant November 18th 2005. Served in the departments patrol division and as officer in charge of the department detective bureau. Lt. Conlon is the recipient of numerous commendations including, Life Saving, Outstanding Police Action, Meritorious Service, and Criminal apprehension.

Sergeant Russomanno has 12 Years of service to the township a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Montclair State University. He initially served as a police dispatcher was appointed as police officer September 27th 2007. Graduated from the Essex County Police Academy March 18th 2008. He has served in the departments patrol division. Sgt. Russomanno has been the recipient of numerous commendations including, Life Saving, Outstanding Police Action, and Meritorious Service. 

            “I am very proud of all the members of the Cedar Grove Police Department. Lt. Conlon and Sgt. Russomanno worked very hard to earn theses promotions and are two of our finest. I would like to thank the township manager, mayor and council for their continued support and recognition”.    Chief J. Cirasa   

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